The Weaver: A Novel by Emmi ItarantaFantasy. As a weaver in the House of Webs, Eliana lives a cloistered life with little knowledge of the world beyond the island she calls home. That changes with the arrival of a wounded woman, mute and illiterate, whose hand bears a tattoo that reads "Eliana." Where did this mysterious stranger come from? Is she, in fact, a stranger? And what does her appearance signify? As Eliana investigates, she makes startling discoveries about her society and her place within it. Fans of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale will be intrigued by this lyrical dystopian tale by the author of Memory of Water.
The Wall of Storms by Ken LiuEpic Fantasy. Kuni Garu, now Emperor Ragin, has ruled the archipelago of Dara since the conclusion of the Chrysanthemum-Dandelion Wars. However, between impending invasion by a foreign power and growing unrest at home, his legacy and the fate of the empire itself hang in the balance. Inspired by China's Han dynasty, this 2nd book in the Dandelion Dynasty series, after The Grace of Kings, boasts a large cast of characters and detailed world-building.
Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-GarciaUrban Fantasy. Although most of the surrounding area is controlled by vampire gangs, Mexico City has managed to remain independent -- for the most part. When teenage trash-picker Domingo encounters Atl, he's shocked to discover that she's a Tlahuihpochtli (shapeshifting blood-drinker) from an ancient Aztec family; when he learns that Atl is on the run from the Necros, who killed her family and are now after her, Domingo decides to help. But will Atl's need to feed imperil them both? Darker and more suspenseful than Signal to Noise, author Silvia Moreno-Garcia's debut, Certain Dark Things nevertheless shares with its predecessor an emphasis on well-drawn characters and vividly rendered settings.
A City Dreaming by Daniel PolanskyNoir Fantasy. Returning to New York City after a long absence, magician M discovers that things have changed. In a series of vignettes, this darkly humorous novel describes M's adventures, which range from squaring off against the Pirates of the Gowanus Canal to attempts to defuse tensions between the White Queen of Manhattan and the Red Queen of Brooklyn. With its gritty urban setting and sardonic tone, A City Dreaming may appeal to fans of Daniel Jose Older's Bone Street Rumba series, which begins with Half-Resurrection Blues.
Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection by Brandon SandersonShort Stories. If you enjoy epic fantasy that boasts detailed world-building and complex, well-thought-out systems of magic, you'll enjoy these nine novellas and short stories by Brandon Sanderson. Focusing on the Cosmere, the fictional universe that serves as the setting of the author's bestselling Mistborn and Stormlight Archive series, as well as stand-alone novels Elantris and Warbreaker, the tales in Arcanum Unbounded expand on the background, structure, and mythologies of these interconnected worlds.
Books You May Have Missed
Dreaming Death: A Palace of Dreams Novel by J. Kathleen CheneyEpic Fantasy. In the city of Noikinos, where psychic abilities are common, Shironne Anjir is a Sensitive who can physically feel emotions. When she forms a telepathic link to royal guard Mikael Lee, whose dreams channel the pain and terror experienced by murder victims, they join forces to track a serial killer whose use of blood magic is reminiscent of the rituals of an ancient cult. Readers who enjoyed the strong sense of place and palpable suspense of N.K. Jemisin's Dreamblood duology may like Dreaming Death, which kicks off a new series by the author of the Golden City novels.
The Lyre Thief by Jennifer FallonEpic Fantasy. Princess Rakaia of Fardohnya and her illegitimate half-sister, the slave-born Charisee, have been trading identities for years. The difference is that this time, it's not a game. For Rakaia has learned that she is not the king's biological daughter, which places her in jeopardy. The solution? Rakaia, currently betrothed to a Hythrun warlord, will flee the country while Charisee takes her place. Once Charisee joins her bridegroom abroad, no one will know the difference. And, of course, that's when the trouble really begins. The Lyre Thief is the 7th book in the Hythrun chronicles, which begins with Medalon.
Swords and Scoundrels by Julia KnightSword and Sorcery. Ejected from the elite Duelist Guild after a high-profile job goes wrong, sparring siblings Vocho and Kacha turn to a life of crime. But highway robbery proves equally unsuccessful when they unwittingly target a carriage transporting a powerful magician. Fans of the adventure and wit displayed in Scott Lynch's Gentleman Bastards series may appreciate this opening installment of the Duelists trilogy, which continues with Legends and Liars and concludes with Warlords and Wastrels.
The Devil You Know by K.J. ParkerHistorical Fantasy. At first, our narrator is thrilled that eminent philosopher Saloninus has decided to sell his soul. However, the increasingly bizarre nature of his demands -- including an army to invade a realm not worth the conquering -- makes him wonder what the old man is plotting. Will Saloninus outwit him or will the devil get his due? For more witty fantasy novels involving Faustian bargains, check out Jonathan L. Howard's Johannes Cabal the Necromancer.
The Last Days of Magic by Mark TompkinsFantasy. Twins Anya and Aisling are aspects of the triple-goddess Morrígna, sent into the world to serve as guardians of the human and Sidhe realms. But when Anya is assassinated by a rebellious Sidhe faction, Aisling is left alone to battle their enemies, aware that the fate of all worlds depends on her. Set primarily in 14th-century Ireland, this novel features sympathetic characters and extensive world-building based on an inventive fusion of Celtic and Christian mythologies.
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